Tyra Banks and Oprah discuss emotional abuse.
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Tyra says she knows the cycle of abuse all too well. While in her 20s, Tyra says she was emotionally abused. "He never hit me, but I would say there were blows to my spirit, blows to my emotional well-being every day," she says.

On the outside, Tyra says no one could see the signs. But behind closed doors, she says he was jealous and blamed her for his bad moods. "He was a master at being able to be happy and nice to everybody else but whispering these negative things to me," she says. "I'd start complaining to my friends, and they're like: 'Well, he's fine, girl. He's fine with us. Everything's fine.'"

Although she was one of the top 10 models in the world at the time, she says her self-esteem sunk lower and lower. "I stayed because I felt like if I left and he didn't change and didn't treat me how I felt I deserved to be treated, I was a failure," she says.

One day, Tyra says she finally confronted herself. "I walked to the mirror in his bathroom. He wasn't there," she says. "Out loud I looked in that mirror and I said: 'Tyra, who are you? What the hell are you doing? Get out of here.'"
FROM: A Special Report: Tyra Banks and Dating Violence
Published on March 12, 2009

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